Business groups punch back against energy tax legislation

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania business groups are warning a state Senate-passed proposal to increase energy taxes will hurt the industry’s competitive standing, cause higher bills for consumers and scare off investment.

The groups said Tuesday the proposal will hit some large industrial users very hard.

The bill would bring in about $100 million annually from a new severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.

It also calls for about $400 million from a gross receipts tax on natural gas, electric and telecommunications bills.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf supports the plan to plug a $2.2 billion revenue gap.

Wolf’s spokesman says if lawmakers don’t act to fully fund spending that’s already been approved, the state will teeter on the verge of bankruptcy and schools and local municipalities will be harmed.

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